I will read a book on anything if I think there is something to learn. And since I have been a dating disaster since day one, I even picked up a copy of The Rules back in ’95 when it was all the rage and I was in college. I flipped through, cringed, and promptly tossed the thing out (which I consider book sacrilege). I was NOT going to play hard to get, I would play the game as an even match and that would be the way to find someone who was my even match. Right?
The more I think about it, though, I’m starting to realize the ex and I never dated. Sure, we had a few dinners, went to a movie here and there. But we never dated. I was never “wooed” as my grandmother would say. And honestly, I never played very hard to get. I mean, he was the best looking guy who had ever paid attention to me. And well-liked by a large group of people. Even BC said he was smart- which is saying something. What better sort of vetting process did I need?
When we started hanging out, we had a full month with nothing on my calendar to do it in. I had just wrapped up law school and wouldn’t start my job until fall. Thanks to a moving-out incentive from my old landlord who wanted to condo-ize the building, I had some cash in my pocket. And he was bartending wild hours that meant the rest of the day was all ours. We lounged in the park talking until five a.m. We took his mom’s dog on walks. Went swimming at a friend’s house. Danced and drank and ordered Chinese to eat in bed with a pile of DVDs.
But sometimes, I wonder. I wonder if I should have tried to be more of a princess. The kind of girl who had to be “caught”. Not so much in a woe-is-me, this-is-my-fault way. More in a looking-toward-my-future way. If I hadn’t been so eager to be the “giver” in the relationship, maybe I would have gotten more back.
This is what “rules” do. Make you assume that if you weren’t playing along, it’s your fault you lost the game.
Then again, in better moments, I assume you can’t win the game. Not when the other player cheats.